Saturday, February 11, 2012


"The appeal of the Byronic hero is not hard to understand. He is, in Herbert Read's delightful phrase, the "super-realist personality" who by the absolute courage of his defiance of moral and social taboos becomes "the unconfessed hero of humanity." He exists in one form or another in the dream life of all of us, whether we like it or not, as the embodiment of those impulses cramped or inhibited by society. He is the expression of our social insecurity, our distrust of our fellows, our dissatisfaction with authority, our disillusionment with social achievement. He is the symbol of our defiant refusal to accept the insignificant role of the individual ego in society or the universe which modern knowledge forces upon us. In short, he represents the ego in conflict with the forces battering to subdue or destroy it - the ego which triumphs even in its moment of defeat." (Edward E. Bostetter, Introduction to Byron's "Selected Poetry And Letters" - Rinehart Editions)

Yet, inevitably:

So, we'll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving
And the moon be still as Bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul outwears the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.